Beds police knife crime presentation ‘too graphic to be shown in public’
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Part of a planned knife crime presentation by a Bedfordshire Police chief was deemed too graphic to be shown in public, it has been claimed.
Supt Juliette Everett was due to update members of Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel on progress in tackling the issue, which was due to include a short film.
But it was considered potentially too upsetting to show visitors attending the panel’s meeting.
The force’s lead on knife crime Supt Everett is now scheduled to give the talk to panel members in private, at an away day event next month.
Independent co-optee Paul Cain, who chairs the panel, said she was due to come along but did not want to put her presentation in the public domain.
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Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway said she is “hugely concerned around knives”, and had invited Supt Everett to speak to the panel as she oversees the knife crime strategy for the county.
She told the meeting on Tuesday night the aim is to drive down knife offences.
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“Knife crime in Bedfordshire has gone up four per cent in the last year,” she said.
“There have been considerably higher increases elsewhere.
“I credit that to the actions being taken by the force and others to deal with knife crime.”
She also told the panel there was alot of resistance to a plan to commission local authorities to share information held by various public groups on young people in gangs already.
“Nobody can argue any more that we don’t have a gang problem,” she said.
“We call a spade a spade, while I’m police and crime commissioner. Now we know what’s there. My greatest concern is that young people believe they are immortal. The best people to speak to kids are other kids.”
She said this was a feature of an anti-knife advertising campaign on radio.
The panel heard that £11m of government funding is due to be released at the end of July.
“This money won’t pay for everything, but we’re already working out how we’re going to use it,” said Mrs Holloway.
“The government must ensure it reaches so-called influencers.”
Drug, alcohol or mental health issues, an absent parent, or dometic abuse in a family can contribute to young people’s vulnerability.
She referred to Redthread, a youth work charity which helps to support young people in south London to lead healthy, safe and happy lives.
“If there are organisations like that we all need to be benefiting from them,” she explained.
After the meeting, Central Bedfordshire councillor and panel member Paul Downing – who represents Ampthill – said he understood part of the planned presentation was thought unsuitably graphic to be shown in public.